According to recent reports, Hyundai is planning to introduce an affordable electric SUV in the Indian market in the near future.
Last year, Hyundai had launched its first electric vehicle for the Indian car market, the Hyundai Kona EV. Although the car was well received by customers, its high price tag ensured that it would only remain a niche product in India. Now, it seems like Hyundai is eyeing the mass-market segment for EVs via a subcompact electric SUV.
According to reports, Hyundai is planning to introduce at least one mass-market electric vehicle in the Indian market till 2022. There has no indication of the price bracket which it will occupy, but the driving range has been estimated to be between 200 and 300 km on a full charge. Of course, with the popularity of small SUVs in India, this “mass-market EV” will surely be a sub-4-metre SUV. Perhaps it could be an electric variant of the regular Hyundai Venue, just like the Tata Nexon EV, or it could be a brand new car, solely developed as an EV. The latter option, although more efficient, increases the cost of development by a huge margin.
"The group is developing an electric vehicle platform for mass market in India. We develop cars for all and not just for ride hailing cab operator Ola where Hyundai has invested $300 million,"
Managing Director and CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd
Also, Hyundai will either be manufacturing this car locally or be assembling it in India. Unlike the Kona, the upcoming Hyundai electric SUV will not be a CBU import due to cost concerns. As there is no EV battery manufacturing facility in India, it will have to imported, but most of the other parts can be locally sourced or manufactured.
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Once launched, the new Hyundai electric SUV will compete against the Tata Nexon EV. Also, Mahindra will also be introducing the XUV300 electric in our market soon, which will increase the competition in this segment. While that is certainly a step in the right direction, we still need to consider the limitations of EVs in India. The first and foremost concern is the lack of infrastructure for EV charging. While CNG pumps are increasing in number every day, charging stations are still a rarity, even in metropolitan cities. For EVs t become mainstream, charging stations need to be set up all over the country.